Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada


PROTECT, PROMOTE, PRESERVE are the three layers of The Red Pony Stands® Pimatiziwin Project. Each layer builds on the previous one. Like a blanket, the three layers are "woven" together to create optimal healing and wellness, an Indigenous concept called pimatiziwin. "The blanket is a culturally-relevant concept. Blankets are used for healing purposes. Blankets are also considered gifts in many First Nations cultures. In both instances, they symbolize that an important relationship exists between giver and receiver. A blanket serves the same purpose for a horse as it does for a human; no dichotomy exists in its value"  (Snowshoe & Starblanket, 2016, p. 67). The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary is committed to using the three layers of protection, promotion, and preservation to create pimatiziwin for both the Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies and their human caretakers for generations to come.

        The Red Pony PIMATIZIWIN Project

Protect. Promote. Preserve.
The Red Pony Stands®

THE Next Generations


The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary is committed to developing a responsible and sustainable breeding program to ensure the survival of the breed. Currently, there is an estimated 175-200 Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies alive today. We carefully select our breeding pairs based on their lineages/pedigrees as well as evidence-based research to avoid the risk of future bottleneck. Our herd alone has a wealth of genetic diversity that will contribute greatly to a sustainable breed for the future. As such, we are 100% committed to maintaining the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breed for generations to come, and we partner with other organizations and not-for-profit corporations across North America that support the same. Our produced foals are not sold to the general public; instead, we collaborate and partner with other Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breeding programs to ensure the diversity of the gene pool. In addition, we encourage Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony owners to contribute to the Canadian Animal Genetics Resource (CAGR) program by donating materials to the CAGR gene bank (click HERE for more information).

Related Research Initiatives:

Multiple Ways of Healing as a Pedagogical Approach to Indigenous Education and Practical Model for Holistic Wellness (Principal Investigator: Snowshoe, A.). Indigenous Advisory Committee Indigenization Fund (Funds Requested: $3919, Successful).

Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being: Story Sciencing with the More-Than-Human World (Principal Investigator: Snowshoe, A.; Co-Investigator: Noel Starblanket; Co-Investigator: Kelsey Moore; Collaborator:The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse
). Saskatchewan Instructional Development Research Unit (SIDRU) 2018 Grant: Partnerships and Community-Based Projects (Funds Requested: $10,000,


(Re)Connecting Animal-Human Relationships as a Doorway to Indigenous Wellness (Principal Investigator: Snowshoe, A.). Canadian Institutes of Health Research Catalyst Grant: Indigenous Approaches to Wellness Research (Funds Requested: $145,789, Successful).

The Red Pony Stands®: A Place for Protecting, Promoting, and Preserving the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony (Principal Investigator: Snowshoe, A.). Community Initiatives Fund Community Places and Spaces Grant (Funds Requested: $25,000, Unsuccessful).


A unique Breed Of horse


The Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breed is best characterized by its First Nations origins. As archaeological technology becomes more and more sophisticated, the colonial history of the horse is being challenged. Contrary to what the dominant culture claims, the oldest fossil remains of the horse have been located not in Europe or Asia, but in North America! While the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony was once thought to be a cross between the Canadian Horse and Spanish Mustang, that hypothesis is being challenged by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan through state-of-the-art microsatellite and microchrondrial DNA studies. These results support the claims by First Nations Traditional Elders and Knowledge Keepers that contend, "Horses were not introduced necessarily by the Spaniards; these are Indigenous horses that originated here... We had Indigenous Ponies here and the Lac La Croix Ponies that are Indigenous to his land" (Aiken, 2013). The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary acts as a spokes-person to validate First Nations peoples' voices related to the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony in a variety of general public and academic settings.

Academic Presentations:

Snowshoe, A. (February 14, 2018). Indigenous story sciencing with the more-than-human world. Theory and Method Seminar Series, Faculty of Education. University of Regina, Regina, SK.

Kincaid, A. T., & Snowshoe, A. (October 26, 2017). Creating a model of sustainability: Using an ecomuseum concept to preserve the Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies (LLCIP). Indigenous Research Day. University of Regina, Regina, SK.

Barrett, M. J., Lovrod, M., Chamlers, D., Snowshoe, A., & Loo, S. (March 24, 2017). Interspecies knowledges: How do our relationships with more-than-human beings shape new modes of knowledge, ecological activism and well-being? Interspecies Communication Panel. University of Regina, Regina, SK.

Snowshoe, A. (June 24, 2016). Healing with Horses: The Role of the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony for First Nations Youth Mental Wellness. Canadian Indigenous/Native Studies Association Conference (CINSA) Reconciliation through Research: Fostering miýo-pimātisiwin. First Nations University of Canada, Regina, SK. 

Collin, Y., Snowshoe, A. (June 24, 2016). The Medicine Horse Way. Canadian Indigenous/Native Studies Association Conference (CINSA) Reconciliation through Research: Fostering miýo-pimātisiwin. First Nations University of Canada, Regina, SK. 


Featured Article by snowshoe & starblanket


"The central goal of life for the Ojibwe is expressed by the term pimatiziwin, life in the fullest sense, life in the sense of longevity, health and freedom from misfortune."

A. Irving Hallowell

Eyininiw mistatimwak: the role of the

lac la croix indigenous pony for first nations youth mental wellness​​

Sacred Sanctuary Life


The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse

Sanctuary is a Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony-specific sanctuary. Our ponies enjoy a safe, stress-free, spiritually-infused natural environment every day, all year round. Because we consider our ponies as "more-than-human beings," we prioritize the development of strong human-to-horse relationships and provide top-quality care at all times. —For many First Nations peoples, the horse was understood to be a gift from the Creator that served as a spiritual companion and an amplifier for powerful healing energy (Collin, 2014). Guided by a visiting Traditional Elder, we work hard to understand and honour the spiritual capacities of our ponies. Much of our activities at The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary involve helping our ponies reconnect to their spiritual foundations. In return, our ponies are in a position to help humans spiritually. We frequently attend Horse Dance Ceremonies across the province to ensure our ponies are spiritually nourished. Our ponies are not rode by or sold to the general public. Instead, at any given time they can be found participating in ceremony, grazing on our lush prairie fields, or walking the wooded trails in the rolling hills of the Qu'Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan!

Academic Publications:

Snowshoe, A., & Starblanket, N. V. (2016). Eyininiw Mistatimwak: The role of the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony for First Nations youth mental wellness. Indigenous Journal of Wellbeing, 1(2), 60-76. Retrieved from

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